Money Boys, HIV Risks, and the Associations between Norms and Safer Sex: A Respondent-Driven Sampling Study in Shenzhen, China
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Money boys (MBs) are male sex workers who sell sex to men who have sex with men (MSM). This study estimates the proportion of MBs in the Chinese MSM, compares HIV risks between MBs and non-MB MSM, and examines the associations between practicing safer sex and peer norms of condom use. Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) was used to sample 351 MSM in the city of Shenzhen in 2007. The RDS-adjusted proportion of MBs among MSM was 9%. Compared to non-MB MSM, more MBs reported having had multiple male and female sexual partners. Half of MBs and non-MB MSM had consistently used condoms. Both descriptive and subjective norms were positively associated with condom use. The MB proportion of 9% in MSM implies a relatively large population of MBs in China. The association between peer norms and consistent condom use can assist with the development of culturally competent HIV interventions that promote safer sex.